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Download The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the by Richard Panek PDF

By Richard Panek

The epic, behind-the-scenes tale of an incredible hole in our medical wisdom of the cosmos.

 In the earlier few years, a handful of scientists were in a race to provide an explanation for a annoying point of our universe: purely four percentage of it contains the problem that makes up you, me, our books, and each planet, superstar, and galaxy. The rest—96 percentage of the universe—is thoroughly unknown.

 Richard Panek tells the dramatic tale of ways scientists reached this end, and what they’re doing to discover this "dark" subject and a fair weirder substance referred to as darkish strength. in line with in-depth, on-site reporting and 1000s of interviews—with every person from Berkeley’s feisty Saul Perlmutter and Johns Hopkins’s meticulous Adam Riess to the quietly progressive Vera Rubin—the publication bargains an intimate portrait of the sour rivalries and fruitful collaborations, the eureka moments and blind alleys, that experience fueled their seek, redefined technological know-how, and reinvented the universe.

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Additional resources for The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality

Sample text

2 mg is equivalent to 180 MWh,1 as derived from Einstein’s formula E=mc2. 93 × 107 Ws/kg would be required. Every second, about 655 million tons of hydrogen are converted to 650 tons of helium. 3 million tons of the mass of the sun are converted to energy every second. 4 × 1024 MWh per year. 441 × 10-9). At this rate, 30 minutes is sufficient to supply all the energy requirements of the earth. The earth’s annual energy consumption amounts to approximately 8,750 billion megawatt-hours. The sun radiates its energy profusely in all directions.

The brightest galaxy: The galaxy with the largest absolute magnitude is the elliptical nebula M87 in Virgo. 1 by 42 percent. 9. The largest star: The largest known star is Alpha Herculi or Ras Algethi. It is accompanied by a double star. Its diameter, including an expanding gas cloud around its main component, is about 250 billion km. Some comparisons might give a better idea of its immense size: This measure is 180,000 times the diameter of the sun, or 1,672 times the distance from the earth to the sun, or 21 times the average diameter of our solar system, which measures 11,800 million km, including the orbit of Pluto.

But according to Olbers’ paradox,2 space cannot be infinite. Present-day views, based on non-Euclidean geometry (curved space) and Einstein’s general theory of relativity, regard space as finite but unbounded. Otto Heckmann (born 1901) expressed himself as follows [H2, p. 129, 134]: “The ingenuity of man’s mind is definitely not limited, so that a relatively large number of world views have been produced, so large . . that the number of cosmological theories is inversely proportional to the number of known facts.

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